This scene at the grottos, Ponta Piedade, Lagos Algarve, Portugal must be one of the most photographed tourist attactions in Portugals western Algarve. Package tourists arrive by the coach load as they do their whistle stop tour of the area.
However they miss the raw natural beauty which can only be found by walking the cliff path out to the point from Lagos. The cliffs are made of a very soft sandstone and are constantly changing, rock falls are common and the cliff path changes direction after each fall as a new path is made and defined by the downtrodden grass. As you walk the path you will sample the stunning views back along the bay of Lagos, past the sandstone stacks to Alvor, Porti Mao, Alburfeira, Vilamoura and beyond. You will see the damage done by the sea and winter rains as which erodes the cliff surface into a moonscape with deep ravines.
When you arrive at the point after conquering the dangers of the cliff path you are often greeted by a coach load or two of tourists taking their photos. But fear them not, take a seat on the grass and rest your tired legs and wait twenty minutes and they will be gone back aboard there coaches and off to the next viewpoint and Pointa Piedade becomes the quiet gem of the Algarve once again.
Take the steps built into the cliff face down to the rocks below where summer boat trips through the arches and caves can be taken which is a good way to sample the scale of this natural wonder but remember 200 steps down equals another 200 steps back up.
Then once you have savioured the views taken your photographs and reclimbed those steps you can once again tackle the cliff path back to Lagos.
Todays photograph was taken from the steps on the cliff face apprx. 3/4 of the way down it is a 3 shot HDR to bring out the textures of the sandstone and try and bring the difficult lighting conditions under control.
Canon 5D mkii and Canon 17-40mm F4L USM lens. ISO 400 1/400 1/1600 1/100 sec. at F4.5 Processed with Photomatix and finished and sharpened in photoshop.
I hope you like it, I will remember this photo for the pain of the 5 1/2 hour walk and the ice cold beer that greeted me at the end.
13th December 2012 Lagos, Algarve, Portugal